The Homeland Security Department has identified about 3,200 contractor jobs that will be converted to federal positions, a senior acquisition official said on Monday.
Tom Mason, director of policy and acquisition workforce at DHS’ Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, said officials pinpointed work that “should probably be done by government employees” through internal analyses. The jobs are spread across 20 offices within Homeland Security, and are in areas where the department relies on contractors for daily functions its employees should be able to perform, he told attendees of Government Executive’s Excellence in Government conference.
Mason said he believes DHS is ahead of the curve in assessing its human capital needs and identifying positions that must be brought back in-house. The department currently has 1.1 to 1.2 service contractors for every federal employee, but according to Mason, it is not an apples-to-apples comparison.
“Most of the government people in DHS are front-line law enforcement officers — the people you see at the airport, Customs and Border Protection people, the Coast Guardsmen out on the ships,” Mason said. “This doesn’t seem terribly out of line when you look at other places. But if we were to add on the number of contractors that we have providing goods — not services — it gets to be a pretty high number. The question is, are we at DHS properly staffed. We’ve come to the conclusion that we really aren’t.”